Two Russian media companies, Russia Today [RT] and Sputnik have been banned from advertising on Twitter due to interfering with the Donald Trump election.
Twitter said following an investigation both media companies were found to have “attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government”
On their blog post Twitter said: “We did not come to this decision lightly, and are taking this step now as part of our ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter.”
Sputnik and RT are Russian state backed and avid supporters of Vladamir Putin, since 2011 they have advertised with the tech giant and an estimated $1.9m in revenue has been made, this will be donated to charities that support civic engagement.
Twitter said: “Early this year, the US intelligence community named RT and Sputnik as implementing state-sponsored Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want on Twitter.
“This decision is restricted to these two entities based our internal investigation of their behavior as well as their inclusion in the January 2017 DNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] report.
“This decision does not apply to any other advertisers. RT and Sputnik may remain organic users on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter rules.”
They added: “Twitter has also decided to take the $1.9m we are projected to have earned from RT global advertising since they became an advertiser in 2011, which includes the $274,100 in 2016 U.S.-based advertising that we highlighted in our September 28 blog post, and donate those funds to support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation.
“We will have more details to share on this disbursement soon.”
This story is being updated…